Japan Trip Day 10 - 2013-08-05

Over the last few days, I have been at the 33rd International Puzzle Party, so I've been blogging about that over at Brian's Damn Puzzle Blog. Now that the puzzling is over, I'm back here to write about our non-puzzling related travels!

Over the weekend while I was puzzling, Kellian was in Akita to check out a festival involving balancing huge trees of candle-lit paper lanterns. Pretty neat, eh? I was sorry to have missed this one!

After IPP, Kellian and I planned to meet up in Aomori, a town at the northern tip of Japan for another festival. I ended up arriving at Tokyo Station at around 11:00, but unfortunately all the trains to Aomori were sold out until 1:30 (because of the festival), so I had some time to kill! I wandered around the station a bit, and ended up having lunch at a sushi place, which was very good!

I finally made it to Aomori around 5:30, with time to make my way to the hotel and get settled in before heading out to the festival at 7:00. This festival is pretty much a big parade: There were huge lit-up floats that they would push around, big groups of people playing flutes, drums, and cymbals, and groups of people skipping around and chanting. It is a bit hard to describe, so check out this video:

It was a lot of fun to watch, the detail and colors on the floats were quite impressive! It rained for a bit, so the floats were covered in plastic to prevent damage. Fortunately it didn't really pour, just a sprinkle. We are staying at Richmond Hotel which is right on the parade route, so even if it started raining hard we could have ducked back into our room pretty easily.

The parade lasted for about two hours, which was quite a while to be standing and watching a parade! A lot of people brought chairs, or rented space in areas where they had set up risers that you could sit on. We decided to tough it out!

After the parade was over, we walked around the neighborhood a bit while things were being cleaned up, and had a few snacks from various street vendors. Tomorrow, we'll explore Aomori!

No comments: